Student Union Groningen 2016 mediumOn 19 and 20 May 2016 the representatives of the U4 Students Network met in Groningen. It was the 6th meeting of the delegations and U4SN works together since 2013 which is great. From meeting to meeting they feel more familiar with each other which is a nice working atmosphere and creates a strong link between the universities.

They discussed about international student life, the international curriculum and the accessibility of the exchange programs. The students' representatives think that the U4 Network should be more visible for the undergraduate students and we need to capitalize our strong connection to all parts within the university. Also the different academic calendar is an enormous barrier to keep students away from an exchange. As a result we see that the universities have similar problems but also big differences which are more locally based. Our goals is to try to solve these issues and work together on these problems as partners in this network.

U4 Peer Review Session Governance smallThe 4th U4 Peer Review session about 'Governance' took place from 16 to 17 June 2016 at Steningevik Conference Centre, hosted by Uppsala University. The session brought together rectors, directors and student representatives of all four partner universities.

Various topics were discussed by members of each university, ranging from 'Political Governance and Institutional Autonomy', 'Organisation and decision-making', 'Implementation of Student Influence' to 'Funding Mechanisms'.

In addition to the presentations on governance, the partners discussed several other challenges within the U4 network. Here, an emphasis lay on fostering interdisciplinary research and triggering innovation through research centers and graduate schools. The path to further innovation might also incorporate taking on additional high risk projects, including ones with unpredictable outcomes.

Core Infrastructure 2016 smallThe 1st U4 IT workshop took place in Göttingen from 18 to 19 May 2016 and was about IT-infrastructure and security. The session brought together IT-staff from all four partner universities.

The hosts offered a tour of the Göttingen Computing Centre, which was very interesting, and a pleasant dinner reception.

Among the discussion topics were Campus Networking, Network Security, Datacentres, Storage and Remote Access to campus resources and other similar subjects. The discussions focused on the end users' experience and on how to best support their needs of availability of data, security and general IT-awareness.

vision-group-2016The second edition of the U4 workshop (held for the first time in Göttingen on March 18-19, 2015) was organized on May 26-27, 2016 in Ghent. This workshop focused on the neurophysiology and brain mechanisms of visual perception, with emphasis on modulations by emotion, motivation, and attention.

The organizers explicitly sought to make of this event a stimulating scientific gathering of senior (professors) and junior (PhD students and postdocs) researchers affiliated to the U4 network and carrying out experimental (or clinically oriented) work on visual perception, attention, or motivation. A second goal was to provide a unique forum to strengthen or foster collaborative efforts among the U4 partners.

20 1On 16 and 17 June the Rectors, Directors and student representatives of all U4 partner universities will attend the VIth Peer Review meeting, hosted by Uppsala University at the Steningevik Conference Centre.

The central theme of the peer review is Governance. The discussions will focus on aspects of political governance and institutional autonomy, governance within the university and funding mechanisms, amongst others.

The peer review sessions offer a framework for peer learning and knowledge exchange, as well as self-evaluation, regarding policy processes and performance. All sessions are based on the input and contributions by in-house experts of the partner universities.

Lecture Piet Van Avermaet smallFollowing workshops on "Creating multilingual spaces" (Göttingen) and "Multilingualism across the lifespan" (Ghent) and various bilateral visits of scholars within the network this year saw the opening of a joint lecture series on Multilingualism to be held at the Department of Intercultural German Studies at the University of Göttingen. The three lectures that have taken place so far found a very interested audience among students as well as researchers in the field and have led to the formulation of joint research interests within the area of language and migration thereby including the recently founded Centre for the Social Study of Migration and Refugees (CESSMIR) Ghent and the Network for Global Migration Studies at the University of Göttingen which will allow the multilingualism group to foster cross cluster activities.

AgeingLung Goettingen 2016 smallFrom 17 to 18 March 2016, Göttingen University hosted the spring meeting of the U4 Ageing Lung network. Participants from all U4 universities came together at the Historic Observatory in Göttingen to discuss about and elaborate on current research topics and interests in obstructive lung disease.

An important goal of the meeting was to further extend the cooperation between the four universities. Sharing insights into current research projects and highlighting the local strengths paved the way for the formation of future collaborations in both clinical and basic science. Common aspects of interest include the role of immune cells, epigenetics as well as the influence of ageing on the development and progression of COPD and asthma.

augustijnenOn 26 and 27 May 2016 the U4 Workshop ‘Emotional, attentional and motivational influences on visual perception explored using state of the art neurophysiology and neuroimaging' will take place in Gent (Thagaste-Trefpunt Augustijnen, Academiestraat 1).

A panel of world-leading scientists in the field of neurophysiology and neuroimaging of vision will present and discuss new empirical results and theoretical models, with a strong emphasis on motivational, emotional, and attentional modulations of visual sensory processing. The most recent techniques used in these disciplines, the new trends, as well as the most recent advancements will be showcased. This event aims at fostering discussions and exchanges between young researchers (PhD student or postdoc) and more advanced senior scientists, with dedicated oral and poster presentations included in the program.

CMIECE smallFrom 12 to 14 November 2015 the University Göttingen hosted the workshop "Changing meanings of Europe: Historical and contemporary perspectives on the political potential of a cultural idea."

Scholars from a wide range of disciplines – from literary studies to history, cultural anthropology, international relations and history – used the three days for a discussion of approaches, gaps in research and research ideas.

It was the kick-of-meeting of the U4 Research Network on "Cultural Mechanisms of Inclusion and Exclusion in Contemporary Europe" (CMIECE), which was initiated in order to examine the ways 'Europe' – as idea, as cultural point of reference, and as political concept – functions as a just such a conceptual mechanism of inclusion and exclusion.

IMS 2015The International Mediterranean Survey Workshop (IMS) takes place two times per year and has become a mandatory and valued event for many European survey archaeologists. The rather informell workshop, which started as an exchange platform for leading survey experts some ten years ago, has opened up to a wide range of survey activities from different countries and universities within recent years. After the latest meetings in Wien, Groningen (2014) and Ankara (2015) the second meeting in 2015 took place at the Archaeological Institute in Göttingen from 30 October to 1 November 2015.

The main targets of the meetings are an exchange of ideas, networking of survey archaeologists and a critical review of new survey operations as well as of new methods. The IMS is also very much inclined to give young researchers a platform to present their work.